Elegy with Apples, Pomegranates, Bees, Butterflies, Thorn Bushes, Oak, Pine, Warblers, Crows, Ants, and Worms
By Hayan Charara
The trees alongside the fence
bear fruit, the limbs and leaves speeches
to you and me. They promise to give the world
back to itself. The apple apologizes
for those whose hearts bear too much zest
for heaven, the pomegranate
for the change that did not come
soon enough. Every seed is a heart, every heart
a minefield, and the bees and butterflies
swarm the flowers on its grave.
The thorn bushes instruct us
to tell our sons and daughters
who carry sticks and stones
to mend their ways.
The oak tree says to eat
only fruits and vegetables;
the pine says to eat all the stirring things.
My neighbor left long ago and did not hear
any of this. In a big country
the leader warns the leader of a small country
there must be change or else.
Birds are the same way, coming and going,
wobbling thin branches.
The warblers express pain, the crows regret,
or is it the other way around?
The mantra today is the same as yesterday.
We must become different.
The plants must, the animals,
and the ants and worms, just like the carmakers,
the soap makers before them,
and the manufacturers of rubber
and the sellers of tea, tobacco, and salt.
Such an ancient habit, making ourselves new.
My neighbor looks like my mother
who left a long time ago
and did not hear any of this.
Just for a minute, give her back to me,
before she died, kneeling
in the dirt under the sun, calling me darling
in Arabic, which no one has since.
Even though I spent all morning working on a review of Voyager's "Initiations", a lot of my Friday felt like a Saturday, in part because Paul worked from home so we were chatting on and off throughout the morning and in part because Adam was here until he went out running with a friend around lunchtime. In the afternoon, we all went to Kohl's together to take advantage of their sale and coupons while our state is having its tax-free shopping week before school starts.
We had dinner with my parents, and when we came home, Adam insisted that we should watch Kung Fury, the Swedish martial arts comedy about "Kung Fuhrer" Hitler versus dinosaurs, Thor, and I can't even explain this movie just go to YouTube and watch it! Then we watched an episode of Inspector Lewis and now we're half-watching the Seahawks-Broncos game. Here are some of the butterflies we saw the weekend before last at Wings of Fancy at Brookside Gardens: